Stan at the Winging It blog recently posted the common evangelical trope about humanity being inherently evil/bad/not good. He was attacking the notion that humans could rightly be considered "good," and said, among other things...
The most common perspective today is that people are basically good. Sure, there's some bad ones, but, in general, we start out good.
There is a problem with that position. If humans are born good, why does no one end up good? Okay, that's one problem. The fact is that the Bible contradicts it.
From there, he did the standard conservative evangelical thing of cherry picking some verses from the Bible and offering that as "proof" of his position. As always, I'm not speaking about Stan himself in this post, just addressing this common conservative trope.
Here's a challenge for people like Stan: support your premise/claim. Prove that people are basically bad/evil/corrupt. Prove not only that people, in general, are not good... but that they are SO evil that the only proper response is to torture them for an eternity to punish them for their evil.
Prove it in some reasonable way. Don't merely saying, "Hey, there is a line in the bible that I personally think we should take literally - even though other lines in the Bible, I don't take them literally and I fully recognize that the various biblical authors use metaphors and hyperbole and imagery all the time... but THESE verses in the Bible should be taken literally..."
Don't merely say that, but offer some rational, reasoned support for it.
For instance, merely citing some verses in the Bible with the suggestion that they represent literal facts is not enough... not when you, yourself, recognize that at least some verses in the Bible are metaphors, some are hyperbole and some are otherwise figurative. So, the presence of one line that says something about the four corners of the earth is not "proof" of a square, flat earth any more than one line saying something about "babies are evil from birth and they speak lies" is sufficient proof of evil, lying babies.
In the real world, for such a claim as "humans are inherently evil... and not only that, but they are ALL (everyone of them) SO evil that, apart from some action, they deserve to be tortured for eternity to pay for their crimes (which, of course, can never be paid, since they'll be tortured for eternity). If you don't like the "tortured for eternity" language, we can substitute it for the more "biblical" (ish) language of "burn in hell forever, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth..."
The Bible, taken literally, COULD be said to "contradict" the notion of "no one ending up doing good..." BUT, the Bible, taken literally, could also contradict the notion of the earth as a globe. That there is a line in the Bible that says something like that is not, in and of itself, sufficient proof of anything.
Contrast that with this claim: I see good people every day. I see good people being kind, working for justice, helping people find homes or jobs or respect. People DO in fact do good things and I know this because I see it.
So, we can accept the notion that all people are utterly wicked and deserving of eternal torture because there are lines in the Bible that some people think indicate that OR we can accept the notion of "I see good people in the world and I know they're good because I see them doing reasonably good actions..."
Which is more reasonable?
So, aside from some lines in an ancient text that SOME people say means that there are no good people, anywhere, what is the proof for such a hard to believe claim?
And note: Saying that I believe that clearly there ARE good people around because I see them is NOT the same as saying that there are no bad people nor is it the same as saying that there are perfect people. Just Good, as good is commonly understood.
I'll wait for some kind of proof more than "I got a hunch..."